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Eva Golinger

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Obama Should Rescind Sanctions Against Venezuela


This week regional leaders from 35 Latin American and Caribbean nations meet at the Seventh Summit of the Americas. The meeting in Panama will be a historical encounter ending the 50-year exclusion of Cuba from the Organization of American States.

Both presidents Obama and Raul Castro will be present and a highly-anticipated meet and greet between them has the potential to rapidly advance a thaw in relations and an end to the unpopular US embargo against Cuba.

While Latin American governments have applauded the Obama administration’s efforts to reestablish ties with Cuba, hope for a renewed relationship with the region has been tainted by the US government’s recent actions against Venezuela. A unanimous statement from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which represents all 33 countries in the region, has firmly condemned the March 9, 2015 Executive Order issued by President Obama declaring Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” The CELAC statement also rejected the corresponding sanctions imposed by the US government against Venezuelan officials, considering them “coercive measures contrary to international law.”
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The Dirty Hand of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela


Anti-government protests in Venezuela that seek regime change have been led by several individuals and organizations with close ties to the US government. Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado  two of the public leaders behind the violent protests that started in February  have long histories as collaborators, grantees and agents of Washington.

The National Endowment for Democracy “NED” and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have channeled multi-million dollar funding to Lopez’s political parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and Machado’s NGO Sumate and her electoral campaigns.

These Washington agencies have also filtered more than $14 million to opposition groups in Venezuela between 2013 and 2014, including funding for their political campaigns in 2013 and for the current anti-government protests in 2014. This continues the pattern of financing from the US government to anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela since 2001, when millions of dollars were given to organizations from so-called “civil society” to execute a coup d’etat against President Chavez in April 2002. After their failure days later, USAID opened an Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Caracas to, together with the NED, inject more than $100 million in efforts to undermine the Chavez government and reinforce the opposition during the following 8 years.
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